15 years. That’s how long I’ve been homeschooling! That’s like forever in dog years. Good thing I’m not a dog, huh! Anyhow, I think I’ve spent more of that time stressing out about homeschooling and homemaking than I have focusing on the joy in my journey.
It’s stressful bearing the sole responsibility for my children’s education. That’s a heavy burden to carry. But, it’s such a blessing. I hate that I’m missing even a moment of joy. The days are fleeting, and I’m missing out.
Rediscover the Joy of Homeschooling
What Steals Our Joy?
I started out my homeschool journey all gung-ho and ready to go. Actually, I start out each year all gung-ho and ready to go. I’m going to tackle this year, and it’ll be our best one yet. However, I always forget when I’m starting a new year that life happens, and I don’t do well with that.
Kids get sick, and our schedule has to shift. Science experiments fail. History lessons are boring. Math concepts are hard. Someone still can’t tell a transitive from an intransitive verb. Assignments need to be graded. Lessons need to be planned. Kids get frustrated. Mom gets frustrated. We all want to throw in the towel.
The house is a wreck. Dinner still needs to be cooked. Kids need to be taken to dance or sports or to work. Mom’s to-do list is ever-growing but the hours in a day are not.
Have I over-scheduled our days? Am I getting enough sleep? Are the kids getting enough sleep?
Have I made a meal plan and done the grocery shopping? Or, am I scrounging through the pantry at 4:00 trying to figure out what I can make?
Rediscovering the Joy
With life happening all around me, how am I ever to find the joy in my journey? I have to learn to look at things in a way that I can see objectively what the root of the joy-stealer is. Once I step back and examine the situation, I can make some changes to bring back the joy.
I can pare down outside activities so everyone isn’t so harried and hectic. I can make a plan for meals and be sure we have food so that dinner isn’t stressful. I can make sure I have a plan so that everyone is pitching in to keep the house in order.
In school, I need to make sure I have a plan. I can tweak lessons to make them more meaningful. I can stop and reteach, if necessary, instead of plowing ahead. I can give us a much-needed break to regroup and refresh if we’re struggling with burnout.
Getting to the root of the problem allows me to see where changes can be made. Then, I can begin to help us all bring joy back in to our homeschool. I refuse to give up! God has called me to homeschool my kiddos. He has given me all the tools I need to continue on this journey. I just need to change my perspective sometimes to refocus on what’s important.
Has the joy gone out of your homeschool? What are you doing to find it again?
This post is part of my ABC’s of Homeschooling series! To read the entire series, visit my ABCs of Homeschooling page. I’ll add to this page each day as the posts go live.